Days after Tucker Carlson was caught lying to viewers about the 2020 election, Kevin McCarthy sent a fundraising appeal boasting that giving Carlson 44,000 hours of Jan. 6 video was “delivering” “the truth.”
McCarthy’s move was despicable on so many levels. For one, it signaled loud and clear that he doesn’t care about the shocking revelations in the Dominion Brief last week. That brief, in support of Dominion’s motion for summary judgment in its $1.6 billion defamation case against Fox News, revealed that Carlson not only promoted what he knew was disinformation about the 2020 election “fraud,” he tried to get a reporter fired who publicly provided the truth in a fact-checking tweet.
Worse, McCarthy knows that Carlson will almost certainly use the footage to pump more disinformation to his viewers. From The New York Times:
Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s decision to grant the Fox News host Tucker Carlson exclusive access to thousands of hours of security footage from inside the Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack was his latest move to appease the right wing of his party, this time by effectively outsourcing a bid to reinvestigate the riot to its favorite cable news commentator, who has circulated conspiracy theories about the assault.
The most conservative Republican members of Congress — many of whom have worked to downplay or deny the reality of the Jan. 6 attack — have been pushing Mr. McCarthy for weeks to release the video after he promised to do so during his campaign for speaker.
Then there’s the fact that McCarthy may have damaged Capitol security by revealing where the cameras are. “Capitol Police have been extremely reluctant to share large swaths of their security footage, citing potential risks to lawmakers, aides and officers tasked with protecting the building,” Politico reported. Yet McCarthy didn’t bother to consult the Capitol Police before gifting #LyingCarlson with the footage, Politico also reported.
McCarthy defended his move by saying he “promised,” he told The Times: “I was asked in the press about these tapes, and I said they do belong to the American public. I think sunshine lets everybody make their own judgment,” he also said.
But McCarthy knows darn well that Carlson will use the video for his lying propaganda, not the truth. And McCarthy didn’t turn over the video to the American public. He gave them to a dishonest MAGA propagandist.
More from The Times:
Still, the sunshine Mr. McCarthy referred to will, for now, be filtered through a very specific prism — that of Mr. Carlson, a hero of the hard right who has insinuated without evidence that the Jan. 6 attack was a “false flag” operation carried out by the government.
After Mr. Carlson has had his way with the video, Mr. McCarthy said he planned to make the footage more widely available. His team has had internal conversations about providing the footage to other media outlets after Mr. Carlson has had his “exclusive” first airing, according to a source familiar with the deliberations who insisted on anonymity to speak about them.
Meanwhile, McCarthy is fundraising in the most cynical, Orwellian and dishonest way possible – by posing as a truthteller: “Patriot, you deserve the facts - all of the facts. … It is in the public interest to know everything that happened that day – not just the narrative that Pelosi’s partisan committee wanted you to see ahead of the 2022 midterm elections… We made a commitment to America - a commitment to YOU - when we asked for your vote last fall. A commitment to all of America requires truth and transparency over partisan games. Now we are delivering.”
McCarthy fundraising off of giving Tucker Carlson access to 1/6 Surveillance tapes pic.twitter.com/raptge3F5C— Emily Wilkins (@emrwilkins) February 22, 2023
(McCarthy caricature via DonkeyHotey)